WARNING: The video above shows a dog getting shot. Viewer discretion is advised.
TAMPA (WFLA) — An officer with the Tampa Police Department shot a pit bull twice after it ran out of its owner’s front door and toward her, officials said.
“There wasn’t time for a taser or negotiating. It was either shoot or get mauled and get attacked,” Spokesperson for Tampa Police Benevolent Association Danny Alvarez said.
The incident happened at an apartment complex on South West Shore Boulevard on March 17. A city spokesperson said officers responded to the area after a complaint of someone holding a rifle on a second floor balcony, not aiming it at anyone.
Officers checked the area but didn’t find anything, so they went to speak with the person who originally called in the report. As the woman came out of her door, officers said her dog also got out and ran toward the closest officer.
The officer fired two shots at the dog, striking it both times, the city spokesperson said. In an email, the spokesperson identified the dog as a pit bull.
“This is one of those cases where any tine an officer pulls out their weapon, it is their worst day. they don’t wake up thinking that’s what they’re going to do,” There wasn’t time for a taser or negotiating. It was either shoot or get mauled and get attacked,” Alvarez added.
The woman took her dog to an emergency veterinary hospital after the incident. X-rays revealed the wounds were not life threatening.
“The officer responded the threat of a pit bull running toward her and took immediate action to keep herself safe,” the city spokesperson wrote. “While no officer wants to fire at a dog, it presented a perceived threat to the officer at the time.”
The Professional Standards Bureau, which conducts an internal investigation any time an officer discharges a weapon, determined the officer “took immediate action to keep herself safe.”